For more than a quarter century, the Hub City Writers Project’s mission has been cultivating readers and nurturing writers through its independent press, community bookshop, literacy outreach, and diverse literary programming.
In May 1995, a trio of writers in Spartanburg, SC, began to talk in a downtown coffee shop about how they could help preserve a sense of place in their rapidly changing Southern city. What their community needed, they said, was a literary identity. Modeling their organization after the Depression-era Federal Writers Project, they chose the name Hub City because it invoked Spartanburg's past as a 19th-century railroad center and challenged them to make their hometown a center for literary arts.
The first book was Hub City Anthology, a place-based collection of personal essays and art about the experience of living local. From there, Hub City began publishing writers across South Carolina and, eventually, the American South. Along the way, Hub City became a nonprofit organization and a vigorous literary arts programmer, sponsoring an annual writers conference, summer camps, workshops, scholarships, residencies, and scores of readings each year.
When Spartanburg lost its independent bookstore, Hub City stepped in and led a renovation of the ground floor of the historic Masonic Temple as a new hub of books, coffee, and baked goods. Hub City Bookshop became the nation’s first full-service bookshop operated by a non-profit organization.
In 2020, our twenty-fifth anniversary, Hub City published its 100th book and celebrated ten successful years of bookselling at the Hub City Bookshop. With a dynamic team of staff and a hard-working board of directors, Hub City has become one of the most substantial literary arts organizations in the nation.